13 Travel Quotes to Feed Your Wanderlust

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,


Travel quotes to feed your wanderlust

I have always loved quotes — those one or two sentences that can shift your perspective, inspire you to say yes to an adventure, or pull you out of a funk. 

These are some of my favorite travel quotes by writers, travellers, fictional characters, and people who just had something inspiring to say. 

“Coming back to where you started is not the same as not leaving.”
— Terry Pratchett

“Never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay your welcome. Keep your mind open and suck in every experience. And if it hurts you know what? It’s probably worth it.”
—Richard from the movie The Beach

“Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.”
—Ernest Hemingway

“But I am a born pilgrim. Even when I am feeling really lazy or I’m missing home, I need take only one step to be carried away by the excitement of the journey... I realize that I will never reach my goal by staying in the same place all the time. I can speak to my soul only when the two of us are off exploring deserts or cities or mountains or roads. ”
— from Aleph by Paulo Coelho

“If adventures do not befall a lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.”
—Jane Austin

"If at some point you don't ask yourself 'What have I gotten myself into?' then you're not doing it right" 
—Roland Gau

“Travel is rebellion in its purest form. We follow our heart. We free ourselves of labels. We lose control willingly. We trade a role for reality. We love the unfamiliar. We trust strangers. We own only what we can carry. We search for better questions, not answers. We truly graduate. We, sometimes, choose never to come back.”
—Author Unknown

“The great difference between voyages rests not with the ships, but with the people you meet on them”
—Amelia E. Barr

“We travel because distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But something inside our minds has changed, and that changes everything.”
—Jonah Lehrer

“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”
—Amelia Earhart

“Twenty years from now you will more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
—Mark Twain

“May you never be too busy to stop and breathe under a palm tree.”
— Unknown




15 Photos That Will Make You Want To Visit Lagos in Portugal

by Lindsay Shapka in , , , ,


Lagos Portugal Algarve

Stretching 150 km along the southern coast of Portugal, the Algarve is arguably one of the most beautiful and varied coastlines in the world. 

You can find solitude on sandy islands, action-packed golden beaches with amazing nightlife, and the famous breathtaking cliff-backed shorelines that have taken over Instagram. There are also charming towns packed with cafes, restaurants, bars, shops, and lots of cobblestone streets to wander through when the sun goes down. 

If you are looking for resorts and nightlife, the east and center of the long coastline is where you should base. The west is a little quieter and more rugged. If you are looking for the best of both worlds, head to my favourite spot — Lagos.  

 

Why Lagos?

Lagos sits right on the coast with an old town that is surrounded by a 16th-century wall enclosing picturesque plazas, cobbled lanes, churches, charming restaurants, fantastic nightlife and more. Many of the hotels, guesthouses, hostels, and rental apartments are located outside of the old town but are easy to walk to. There are also a lot of grocery stores and markets if you are wanting to self-cater. 

Nearby beaches offer every type of activity imaginable, but you are also close to the rock backed nooks that you can climb down to if you are looking for a more secluded spot for the day. 

Getting there 

Portugal has fantastic train and bus networks that you can use to get all over the country. You can access Lagos from Lisbon by train, and there are also coastal trains that run back-and-forth along the cost if you would like to visit different towns and beaches during your stay. 

You can pre-buy your tickets on the Comboios de Portugal website. (TIP: The first-class ticket is usually only a few Euros more than the regular class. If you are looking for more space, a quieter car, and free wifi consider sitting in a first-class car.)

When to go

As with any location with a beach, as soon as summer hits locals and tourists alike flock to the sand and clear blue water of the Algarve. The summer months will find towns and beaches packed with people and temperatures soar. 

By October, the tourists clear out, but if you are (like me) okay with hitting the beach in around 20-degree weather (78-degrees Fahrenheit), then the fall and spring are lovely times to visit. You'll be sharing the town and beaches with locals, some expats, and the odd tourist, and prices will also be significantly lower. 

Watch out for

The beaches and towns along the Algarve are some of the busiest areas in Portugal in the summer months and the pickpockets know it. Keep your eye on your belongings, especially when laying on the beach.

Be careful if you decide to search out a cliff-backed beach, as the cliffs can often be unstable. And, make sure you are aware of ocean conditions — some areas can experience dangerous currents and winds.  

Surrounded by a historic wall, there are only a few paved roads that cars, and pedestrians, can use to access the town of Lagos through curved entryways. 

The streets of Lagos are paved with unique patterns laid out in cobblestones. Buildings are painted white, orange, pink, or blue, or are covered in stunning Portuguese tiles. 

Sun drenched streets make the tile-covered buildings in Lagos look even more beautiful. This shot was taken on my visit there in November when it was still hot enough to lay on the beach all day, but not hot enough to be packed with tourists. 

Cafes, restaurants, and charming souvenir shops spill out into the cobblestone pedestrian street in Lagos. 

One of the famous cliff-backed, secluded beaches, Praia do Camilo is a bit of a hike to get down to but is SO worth it. It is about a 40-minute walk from the heart of Lagos, but there are also local buses that will drop you off near this spot. 

A rock face at Praia do Camilo from the beach level. To the left is a passage through the thick cliff that gives you access to a smaller, more private beach on the other side. 

The homes that are located outside the city walls are colourful, covered in stunning flowers, and are often available for rent if you are looking for a base to have a longer stay in the area. 

Because of the year-round beautiful weather, even in November, these stunning flowers were in full bloom. 

There are hiking trails along the coast from Lagos heading west to a historic lighthouse. They take you past incredible views, to the top of staircases that lead you to secluded beaches, and go for miles. 

Near the lighthouse, there are caverns in the rock that can be accessed by boat. If you aren't interested in the hike, there are boats that leave from Lagos that will give you the ocean-side view of the cliffs. 

Looking east from the top of the cliffs near Lagos, you can see other whitewashed towns dappled along the coastline. 

The golden sand and stunning blue waters of the Praia Dona Ana, located just outside of central Lagos. 

I was surprised to see how many unique and colourful shells are washed up on the beach every day — most of them completely intact. The beaches of the Algarve are a beachcombers dream! 

Gotta love having a quiet, secluded spot to set up a selfie at sunset! Nothing better than getting that perfect shot for Instagram :) 

Pin Me!

Lagos Portugal Algarve
Lagos Portugal Algarve



Your Guide to Literary Road Trips Across America [Infographic]

by Lindsay Shapka in , , ,


Road trips are at the heart of North American culture.

From the pioneers who chased the Gold Rush out west, to college students who take to the open road at the start of summer, cross-country road trips are a rite of passage.

It’s one of the beautiful things about this giant continent — anyone with a car can go anywhere! 

There is nothing like the pull of the open road — a set of wheels provides you with a freeing feeling that can’t be obtained anywhere else. But road trips aren’t just about exploration, they are also symbolic. A car is the visible expression of freedom, a driver's license the ticket and the cross-country trip the destination. It’s no wonder a host of authors have written classic literary novels that document their experiences along the way!

Inspired by well-known works of literature, like Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, this infographic follows the narrative arcs of six books to give us a guide to literary road trips across America.

Check out these awesome routes that recreate each authors' experience. Who knows — you may end up writing a literary road trip of your own! 



literary road trips

This infographic guide to literary road trips across America was created by and is being reproduced here courtesy of carrentals.com.  

Pin Me!

literary road trips across america
literary road trips across america



Hit The Open Road! Road Trip Tips For An Epic Adventure

by Lindsay Shapka in , , ,


Road trip tips for an epic adventure

Have you been craving the feeling that comes when the city is finally in your rearview mirror and you have hit the open road in search of new experiences and epic adventures? 

Yes? 

Well, you've come to the right place! 

Here is everything you need to know to make sure your next road trip is focused on fun and not on being hangry, locking your keys in your car, or getting stuck listening to crappy music the whole way! 

Before you hit the road

  • Ask a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your place, bring in your mail, water your plants, etc. while you are away. It will look like someone is still home and prevent break-ins — plus you don't want your plants to die!
  • Even I know that you keep a spare key under the flower pot! Remove all of your spares from their hiding spots while you're away. 
  • Unplug toasters, computers, hairdryers etc. to protect them from power surges.
  • Make sure all of your windows are closed and locked (even the ones on your second floor), and that includes any pet doors. 
  • Back-up all of your electronics and store your backup somewhere safe and dry. 
  • Store all your valuables in a safe place.
  • Leave a map of your route or travel plans with a friend or family member. This way if you get in an accident or find yourself stranded, at least someone will have some idea where you are! 
  • Make sure you know how to change your own tire, check our oil, and add coolant and windshield washer fluid if necessary. 

What to pack in your road trip survival kit

  • Pillow and blanket so you can get comfy.
  • First-aid kit (not to be mixed up with the Emergency Kit below).
  • Snacks that won't make a mess (great snack ideas below!). 
  • A bunch of grocery bags to use as trash bags.
  • Tissues for when you get the sniffles (from a cold or a road trip tune that just really gets you).
  • Toilet paper (trust me).
  • Wet Wipes (again, trust me).
  • Hand sanitizer (roadside bathrooms are not always nice, and are sometimes a tree).
  • Bug spray (for when the bathroom is a tree...)
  • Sunscreen (did you know that you can get a sunburn through your window?!). 
  • Books and magazines to pass the time. 
  • Car chargers for your electronic devices.
  • Cash — both bills and change.
  • Bottled water, or reusable bottles to keep filled with water.
  • Motion sickness medication and a small pail "just in case". 
  • A paper map of your route just in case your phone dies. 
  • Tunes! Whether it's music on your phone or you've pulled out all your fave CDs for the occasion, make sure you've got some playlists ready to go! 

Items for your car's emergency kit

  • Flashlight
  • Batteries 
  • Jumper cables
  • Candles and matches
  • Strong rope
  • Warning light, cones, or road flares
  • Umbrella and rain ponchos
  • Scraper or snowbrush 
  • Small shovel
  • Antifreeze

The best road trip snacks

First of all, you need to make sure that you have somewhere to keep your snacks! Bring a cooler that you can easily restock with ice to keep perishables cool. Also pack a fork, spoon, a sharp knife, a bowl, and a plastic storage container/bag to throw any leftover food into. And, remember not to pack anything smelly or messy. 

Here are some things to stock up on: 

  • Apples or oranges (they last longer and don't get squished as easily as other fruit)
  • String cheese
  • Beef jerky or pepperoni sticks
  • Hummus and pita or sliced vegetables
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Trail mix
  • Popcorn
  • Peanut Butter
  • Granola bars

Check out these resources for more great snack ideas:
The 10 best snacks to pack for a road trip
18 best foods to pack for a road trip
23 road trip snacks to keep morale high and your hands on the wheel

The rules of riding shotgun

If you are the passenger during your road trip, there are some things you need to do to make sure your driver is alert and happy — in other words (unless you are both okay with it) don't fall asleep! 

  • Always carry a spare key with you in your pocket
    If the driver accidentally locks the keys in the car, you won't have to wait for someone to come and unlock your car (or worse, break into it yourself). 
  • Be the DJ
    It's your job to keep the music going. 
  • You're the navigator
    Whether you're using a paper map or digital map, it is your job to make sure you know where you are and give directions with lots of notice. No yelling "left!" at the last minute. 
  • Keep the driver fed, watered, and awake
    Your driver needs to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel, so it's your role to hand them water and snacks and make sure they are awake and entertained. 
  • You are the official texter and phone answerer
    Most countries now have distracted driving laws that make it illegal to be on your phone or texting while driving. If the phone rings, or a text needs to be answered, it's your job to play receptionist. 

Pin Me! 

Road Trip Tips For An Epic Adventure
Road Trip Tips For An Epic Adventure


Exploring The Slums of Mumbai, India [Video]

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,


World traveler and filmmaker Jacob Laukaitis, recently spent five days living deep in the slums of Mumbai and documented the experience in an eye-opening film. (Check out my Q&A with Jacob to learn more about him here.)

"This experience opened my eyes in ways I couldn’t have imagined because I got to spend so much time with the local people, who completely transformed my outlook on what their lives were like," explained Jacob,  "I visited their homes, schools, apartment buildings, sewers, marketplaces, and a lot more places."

Check out the film, and my interview with Jacob about his experience, below. 

What made you want to have this experience? 

The movie Slumdog Millionaire and the book Shantaram.

Also the fact that some years back I spent two days exploring the slums, but didn't have the chance to live inside them and thus left with more questions than answers! 

What surprised you the most? 

The fact that most of the people in the slums were really positive and seemed to be quite happy with their lives. Also the fact that a lot of them had profitable businesses or worked in high-end financial institutions or technology companies and simply lived in the slums to save money on rent.

What was the most memorable moment?

I don't there was one most memorable moment, because I would have dozens of really memorable moments every single day.

Taking a shower in the morning would be memorable, having breakfast would be memorable, walking around the slums and mingling with the people would be memorable — all of it!

What is the one thing you want outsiders to know about life in the slums?

They shouldn't judge or have pre-conceived notions about the people of the slums. They are exactly like the rest of us — they have their own dreams, goals, thoughts, emotions, career paths, friendships, obstacles, and everything in between. Some of them are incredibly smart, others are good with sports, or running a business or raising kids or riding motorbikes — just like the rest of us.

Are you planning on going back?

Yes, absolutely.

Initially, I thought spending five days in Dharavi would be an obstacle, but I liked it so much that I spent two extra days just hanging out even after Praveen had to start working again and couldn't take me around anymore.

Wish I had even more time!

Where is your next adventure going to take you? 

I'm currently traveling full-time, so there are quite a few new adventures in the pipeline — motorbiking around Mongolia, venturing into Northern Africa, doing the Trans-Siberia railway, traveling all around South America, and more.

When it comes to my future videos, I'm currently working on a video about how I motorbiked the second highest motorable pass in the world (Khardung-la in the Ladakh region of India), which was the craziest motorbike trip of my life.

Check out more of Jacob's films here, or follow him on Instagram here

Pin Me!

exploring the slums of mumbai
exploring the slums of mumbai



The Most Epic Road Trips in the World

by Lindsay Shapka in , , , ,


Road trips are one of the best ways to travel because you get to experience everything hands-on — the culture, the people, and the scenery of every place you visit (or pass through). Some of the best parts of a new place, that you would miss if you are rushing from place-to-place on a plane or train. 

That’s why I love this awesome infographic guide to the longest roads (aka most epic road trips) in the world!

It includes travel times, cool stops, and fun info about each route, like The Golden Quadrilateral Highway in India (such an awesome name), which takes you past the Taj Mahal and India’s countryside.

Or, the Pan-American Highway that is longer than the length of the equator! I had no idea this road even existed! There are some seriously dangerous spots on this trip though, like the Summit of Death, a mountain pass in Costa Rica that many travelers don’t make it through. Also the Darien Gap, a stretch of swampland that is basically completely untouched because no one can access it. Travel at your own risk!

Check out the full infographic below!



Longest Roads in the World



10 Quotes By Paulo Coelho To Inspire Your Next Adventure

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,


After reading only a few pages of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, I knew that I was hooked for life on the writing of this inspiring Brazilian novelist. 

These are only a few of my favorite quotes, from some of his most popular books, that are sure to inspire you to take a risk on that next adventure! 

If you are looking for more, Quote Catalog has put together a list of more than 500 of his quotes. Check it out here.

"And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it."
—PAULO COELHO, THE ALCHEMIST

"They live as if they were never going to die, and die as if they had never lived."
—PAULO COELHO, WHAT IS FUNNY ABOUT MAN

"People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of."
—PAULO COELHO, THE ALCHEMIST

"...braveness is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear."
—PAULO COELHO, THE SPY

"Whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It's your mission on earth."
—PAULO COELHO, THE ALCHEMIST

"All you have to do is pay attention; lessons always arrive when you are ready, and if you can read the signs, you will learn everything you need to know in order to take the next step."
—PAULO COELHO, THE ZAHIR

"Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure."
—PAULO COELHO, THE ALCHEMIST

"The ship is safest when it is in port, but that is not what ships were built for."
—PAULO COELHO, THE PILGRIMAGE

"It is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting."
—PAULO COELHO, THE ALCHEMIST